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Screaming Eagle Winery Sold


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San Francisco Chronicle

The pricey worlds of professional basketball and cult wines collided last week when arguably California's most coveted wine brand, Screaming Eagle Winery -- whose Cabernet Sauvignons regularly fetch more than $1,000 per bottle -- was sold to two men with NBA ties.

Charles Banks, 38, who manages money for NBA players and other athletes, and Stanley Kroenke, owner of the Denver Nuggets, bought Screaming Eagle in Oakville from Jean Phillips, whose dedication to top-quality wines made the property famous.

I wonder if they will change the name? Will people still pay $300 a bottle for Eagle Nuggets? :blink:

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Mary Baker

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Well, I guess that's one way to get on their mailing list.

No kidding. I didn't realize it retailed for $1,000 a bottle. Pretty insane.

I wonder what this means for the brand....will it lose some of its cache? Will these new owners try to preserve the cult status?

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I'll bet Jean stays on as the winemaker.

Dave Valentin

Retired Explosive Detection K9 Handler

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"What if chicken tastes like rattlesnake?" My son, the Einstein of the family.

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Oops, I overlooked the obvious. A new NBA team called the Screagles.

Patti, I predict that the winery prices and popularity will take a hit initially, because the new owners do not have a track record in winery and brand management. What happens in the long term will depend on their plans, flexibility and responsiveness.

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Mary Baker

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The real interesting story will be the infighting on "the list" -- this is a winery who is known for having shut down their waiting list several years ago. Obviously, the new owners will have "friends" who will want (and probably get!) the wine and what will that do to those who have been on the list, acquiring the wine for years, or those who were close to the top of the list, hoping to purchase some of this illusive liquid...

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There might be an entirely different marketing ploy in the future. Mr. Kroenke is married to one of the Walton girls (yes, the Wal-mart clan!)  I would say that there is pretty significant brand management in the group! :biggrin:

I could see it now, Screaming Eagle at Wal-Mart with one of those things flying around (television commercial) zapping the price reduction tags. Let's see - next to two-buck Chuck is three-buck Macau (second label of course).

Rich Schulhoff

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